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Bath player ratings vs Northampton | 2023/24 Premiership final

By Philip Bendon
Bath Rugby

Bath Rugby came agonisingly close to a first-ever Premiership title as they fell 25 – 21 to the Northampton Saints at Twickenham.


Losing loosehead prop Beno Obano to a red card in the 21st minute did not deter Johann van Graan’s side from having a real crack at the Saints.

Ultimately, it would take a moment of magic from Saints replacement George Hendy, who broke through the Bath defence before setting up Alex Mitchell for the match-winning try.

Here is how the Bath players fared in their tough loss.

1. Beno Obano – 2
A strong opening twenty minutes was offset by a red card tackle that had zero mitigating factors and cost his team heavily in the end.

2. Tom Dunn – 7
A superb scrum performance from the hooker, who appeared to be getting stuck into the Saints tighthead. Offering himself to carry into the coal face of the Saints’ defence time and again got Bath some crucial yardage as they dominated territory at key points.

3. Thomas du Toit – 9 
The big Springbok tighthead claimed the ascendancy at scrum time from the first contest and held it throughout. Such was the impressive nature of his performance that his well-taken try wasn’t even the best part of his day. It seemed at times he singlehandedly shredded the Northampton breakdown with timely jackals and would have been a clear player of the match candidate had his team won.


Team Logo
Team Logo

4. Quinn Roux – 6
Brought to Bath for his ability at scrum and maul time, where he was exceptional once again today. It was a no-frills performance from the former Ireland international, whose power game was key in keeping Bath in the fight.


5. Charlie Ewels – 7
Bath’s enforcer was on form from the off, putting in a raft of crunching hits, with his effort on George Furbank being felt around the stadium. At set-piece time, he was exceptional, disrupting the Saints line-out and being a key member of a dominant scrum.

6. Ted Hill – 7
Built for the big occasion, Hill put himself about today with several crunching tackles that brought the Saints’ uptempo game to a grinding halt.

7. Sam Underhill – 9 
Few players in professional rugby hit as hard and effectively as Underhill, who made his presence felt today. Starting with a huge shot on Alex Mitchell before bringing several other Saints attacks to a grinding halt.

8. Alfie Barbeary – 5 
Cruelly plucked from the action following Beno Obano’s red card, Barbeary, in conjunction with his backrow teammates, had a sterling opening twenty minutes. His physicality and ability to get into awkward positions at the breakdown were key factors in slowing down the Saints for the first quarter.


Ball Carries
Post Contact Metres
Line Breaks


9. Ben Spencer – 8 
Clearly identified that his opposite number takes a step when he passes at the ruck, Spencer caught Mitchell several times cutting off the supply of ball to the dangerous Saints backline. In attack, Spencer’s speed of delivery and running ability had his team on the front foot, allowing Finn Russell ample time to pull the strings.

10. Finn Russell – 8 
A mature performance from a player renowned for his maverick style. Releasing the pressure valve on his team with pinpoint kicking from hand whilst still offering a running threat. His double tackle, in conjunction with Underhill on Burger Odendaal, was a real insight into his rugby intelligence as he cut infield to close down a sizeable gap on his inside shoulder.

11. Will Muir – 8 
An exceptional aerial display from the Bath flyer who contested everything in his vicinity. His try was just reward for his effort in the air as he called out to Spencer, having identified that George Hendy was out of position.

12. Cameron Redpath – 8 
Aside from being bounced by Ollie Sleightholme towards the end of the first half, which nearly led to a Saints try, the Scotland international had a strong game. Continuing to develop his partnership with Finn Russell, the 24-year-old is proving to be a great foil for Rugby’s Lionel Messi with his ability to carry hard, distribute and kick from hand.

13. Ollie Lawrence – 8 
Another key step in the highly talented centre’s development as he filled the space left by being a backrow down. From strike plays, his line-breaking threat had the Saints on high alert as he, more often than not, occupied multiple defenders.

14. Joe Cokanasiga – 7
Arguably his best showing of the season, the powerhouse winger cut off the Saints outside backs with some brilliant ‘up and in’ defending. In attack, he joined Muir as an aerial threat and had some good carries over defenders.

Set Plays

Scrum Win %
Lineout Win %
Restarts Received
Restarts Received Win %

15. Matt Gallagher – 8
He looked destined to score the opening try of the match as he streaked away from George Furbank, only to fall foul of a cruel bounce. Twenty-five minutes later, another cruel bounce robbed him of yet another try-scoring opportunity. These two instances aside, Gallagher had a really strong outing covering the backfield masterfully and entering the attacking line at key moments.


16 Niall Annett – 6
Picked up where Dunn left off as a strong ball-carrying threat but it was his control at the back of the maul that was most impressive.

17 Juan Schoeman – 5
A mixed bag from the replacement loosehead who locked down a key scrum as soon as he came on before being brutally exposed by the Saints’ backs for Tommy Freeman’s try. It was always going to be a tough ask to offset the loss of not only Obano but also the dynamism of Barbeary.

18 Will Stuart – 6 
Combined beautifully with Du Toit to keep the Bath dominance at scrum time and put in some superb tackles when Northampton were on the front foot in the final fifteen minutes.

19 Elliott Stooke – 6
A key member of the late surge down the left-hand touchline for Bath as they had one more crack at the Saints.

20 Josh Bayliss – 6 
A strong showing for the final fifteen minutes with a handful of incisive carries and a few big hits as the Saints camped inside the Bath twenty-two.

21 Louis Schreuder – N/A

22 Orlando Bailey – N/A
Unfortunately for the 22-year-old he will remember being stripped at the end by George Hendy. Nevertheless the youngster has a bright future ahead of him and will be better for the experience.

23 Miles Reid – 6
Two impressive stints, firstly as a blood replacement for Underhill and then as a permanent switch for Cokanasiga. A constant breakdown threat and ultra dynamic in the carry, Reid’s versatility made the 6 – 2 bench a possibility for Johann van Graan’s side.

In the latest episode of Walk the Talk, Jim Hamilton chats with double World Cup winner Damian de Allende about all things Springbok rugby, including RWC2023 and the upcoming Ireland series. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV


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Mzilikazi 48 minutes ago
Is Ireland versus South Africa a battle for the title of ‘world champions’?

Very good article, Nic, and I find agreement with what you write virtually 100%. I think this two mach series has increasingly become one which will be very difficult for Ireland to win. After the first game of the last 6N, I would have been very full of confidence taking on the Boks in SA. France beaten by a big margin in France, it looked as if Ireland had emerged in fine form from the World Cup, despite the very narrow loss to the AB’s. But after that game, a slide began, ending with the defeat to England. Ireland were very fortunate to win this years 6N ! And as you so fully expose, this has not been a good season for Leinster, or indeed, in my view, for any Irish province. The Leinster loos to the Bulls, and then Munster letting a glorious chance slip to the Glasgow Warriors down at Thomond. Man, that one will really hurt. And both Connacht and Ulster have at times looked very poor this seaso, bith heavily beaten on occassion. The loss of both Gibson Park and Keenan are huge blows, especially Gibson Park. And there is really only one clear class 10 in the touring party, Jack Crowley, and he is still a very young player learning his trade. If he goes down, heaven help Ireland. And in my view, Ireland do not have a good scrummaging front row, SA do, and in great depth too. But despite all this doom and gloom, I always believe my team can win. Not that they will win, just can ! Ireland will still field what is the best and most talented team overall that I have seen in my lifetime. But the coaching group will really have to step up, no awful decisions like the one made against the AB’s in the QF….keeping the totally spent and poorly performing(on the day) Sexton on for the full 80mins, leaving Crowley on the sidelines. Ireland should never have lost that game !

50 Go to comments
Shaylen 3 hours ago
Is Ireland versus South Africa a battle for the title of ‘world champions’?

Ireland have all the tools required to hurt SA. They develop quick ball, hold onto the ball for long periods, stretch the game when its on, have powerful mobile forwards, a good kicking game and they can hold their own in the scrum. They also can force turnovers regularly and in general do well at the breakdown. When Munster, the Ospreys and Glasgow all won games in SA this year against the Bulls and Stormers they did just that and won. It is also the reason why Ireland won the game at the world cup last year. The problem for Ireland is that SA have all the tools required to hurt them as well and hurt them a great deal more than England did in the Six Nations. They are physical and powerful at the set piece, they rush up and counter the Irish attacking system and they can really attack the breakdown and slow your ball down. Their counterattacking threat is also a big weapon and they score many tries from turnover turning defence into offence in a second. Toulouse and the Bulls nailed Leinster in this way and Glasgow did the same thing to Munster. So the series will be really interesting because both sides are so good at countering each other. Interested to see what kind of surprises Tony Brown springs and how the SA game develops. Feel like SA have more potential to surprise Ireland but then a new coaching set up as well as the fact that Japanese and foreign based players tend to take about 5 to 6 weeks to get up to speed might work in Irelands favour. SA have shipped at least one game in 4 of the last 5 June/July test windows going back to 2018 for this exact reason.

50 Go to comments
Flankly 5 hours ago
'Let them keep talking' - Mike Catt claps back over Bok remarks

The comments were reported weirdly. De Allende did say it would be war, but he said it amidst comments like “Ireland play such good footy”, and “they are so good at the breakdown”. He said that the Boks lost heavily to Ireland a few years back and that they felt the Irish press was dismissive of the Boks. I don’t recall that, but I suppose it is true, and that SA players would want to turn around that sentiment. The RWC loss to Ireland would naturally pour fuel on the fire. In short, it is a natural thing for passionate players like him to feel very strongly about the goal of registering a convincing series win against Ireland. There is really nothing to see here. As an aside, the SA team shouldn’t be too self-righteous about this kind of a situation. Recall that in 2004, after SA won the Ireland series in SA, Jake White noted that no more than two Irish players were good enough for selection in his Bok side. "Considering the facts, I think only two of their players would be included in the Bok team - O'Driscoll (centre) and maybe one of the locks. How could we have lost against the Irish?" O’Driscoll disagreed and said that it was close, and Ireland were just tired. My Irish friends were pretty incensed by the comments, quite rightly. And I am sure it was part of the energy that drove them to some famous wins against the Boks. The Etzebeth thing was a little different. I think he was just not hearing what was being said. It is not that unusual for someone to say “We will see you in the final”. Of course it is a statement of confidence, which every team should have, but it is also a compliment. I think there was a cultural fly-by, in which a “see you soon” comment was taken to mean “we will beat you again”. But it was a good story, and a convenient clickbaity headline. I don’t think anyone is intentionally trying to rile up anything. But if you interview a Bok player and prod them about their passion wrt the Ireland tour, you are likely to hear some pretty heartfelt words. And so you should.

21 Go to comments
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